In US, HIV diagnoses drop—except among some gay men

July 19, 2014

The rate of HIV diagnoses in the United States has dropped more than 30 percent over the past decade, but is on the rise among certain gay men, researchers said Saturday.

Men who have sex with men and who are aged between 13 and 24 saw the biggest rise—a 132.5 percent increase in the rate of HIV diagnoses—said the report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gay men aged 45 and older were also increasingly diagnosed with HIV.

Meanwhile, the rate of HIV diagnoses fell among other groups, including heterosexual women and .

Overall, the rate of HIV diagnosis in the United States dropped 33 percent from 2002-2011, said the study led by Anna Satcher Johnson of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers examined data collected by the National HIV Surveillance System of the CDC, which is based on mandated reporting of HIV cases in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

During the period of 2002-2011, 493,372 people in the United States were diagnosed with HIV.

The annual diagnosis rate fell by 33.2 percent, from 24.1 per 100,000 population in 2002 to 16.1 in 2011, said the study.

While statistically significant decreases surfaced in most every demographic group, no changes were seen among Asians or Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.

Among men who have sex with men, diagnoses "remained stable overall," but when they were separated by age group, certain growth trends became apparent.

Meanwhile, HIV fell among men aged 35-44.

"Among men who have sex with men, unprotected risk behaviors in the presence of high prevalence and unsuppressed viral load may continue to drive HIV transmission," said the study.

Researchers also noted that HIV testing was expanded during the study period, which can often result in an initial surge in diagnoses, but it was unclear if this was driving the rise among some men.

The findings are published in the July 23/30 issue of JAMA that focuses on HIV/AIDS and coincides with the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.

Explore further: Risky sex, drug acts decline in US: survey

More information: Journal of the American Medical Association, doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8534

Related Stories

Risky sex, drug acts decline in US: survey

January 19, 2012

High-risk sexual behaviors and drug habits that can increase a person's likelihood of getting HIV/AIDS are on the decline in the United States, according to a government survey released Thursday.

Good news for HIV treatment as prevention

March 7, 2014

The Kirby Institute at UNSW Australia welcomes early results from the PARTNER study, which has found that HIV positive gay men who are on treatment and have undetectable viral load are not transmitting HIV to their partners.

New HIV cases in Australia at 20-year high

July 17, 2014

The number of new HIV cases in Australia remains at the highest level in 20 years, according to data Thursday which reveals many people are not being detected early enough.

Recommended for you

Videos reveal how HIV spreads in real time

October 2, 2015

How retroviruses like HIV spread in their hosts had been unknown—until a Yale team devised a way to watch it actually happen in a living organism. The elaborate and sometimes surprising steps the virus takes to reach and ...

Researchers find proteins that shut down HIV-1

September 30, 2015

A pair of studies by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Trento in Italy, and the University of Geneva in Switzerland, point to a promising new anti-retroviral strategy for combating ...

An antibody that can attack HIV in new ways

September 11, 2015

Proteins called broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are a promising key to the prevention of infection by HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. bNAbs have been found in blood samples from some HIV patients whose immune systems ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.